It is the second week of January and my Christmas decorations are now packed away until next Christmas. While wrapping up the figures of our nativity set, I held the wooden Jesus figurine in my hands and felt the prompting in my heart that I must be diligent to not put Jesus away in my life. We have just celebrated the birth of Jesus, but I must carry Him in my heart and allow Him to grow throughout 2017. I want to grow in my faith, and in order to do that, I must keep Jesus at the center of all I think and do.
The world may tend to think of Jesus only on December 25 but that was not God’s plan when He sent His Son to earth as a baby. During this past Christmas season, our son-in-law, Jamey, commented that the world is not threatened by Jesus as a baby. They just do not allow Him grow up. A baby is innocent and represents the nature of mankind as God created it to be before the serpent and sin entered Adam and Eve. Jesus’ innocence is not threatening to the world when He is an infant. However, as Jesus matures into His ministry, He becomes a threat to those of the world because He continues to be holy and innocent and sinless in contrast to the fallen nature of mankind today. Those with a worldly view celebrate the birth of Jesus in their own way, but not from a spiritual perspective.
Notes in the Life Application Bible point out that “Every birth is a miracle and every child is a gift from God. But 20 centuries ago, there was the miracle of miracles. A baby was born, but he was the Son of God. With a divine Father and human mother, Jesus entered history.” This baby was God in the flesh. Jesus was born as an infant who could do nothing on his own. Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Jesus grew to become a man able to fulfill His mission on earth. He was fully human. Although He developed in all the ways like us, He remained fully God. He took no shortcuts and was not isolated from the pressures and temptations of life. There are no shortcuts for us either as we prepare for a life of service to God.
We must not be afraid to let Jesus grow up. Also, we are created to grow up with Him and in Him. God gives us the reason He sent His Son to earth as a baby in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus came to earth as a baby to grow up and die as a man to give us eternal life. When we ask the grown up Jesus to take away our sins, we are born again and we become new creations in Christ. Then we can mature from newborn babes in Christ to men and women of God. II Peter 3:18 tells us to, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever!” We can only grow in our faith in Christ as we allow Jesus to grow. The Christmas season is past but Jesus is present. Jesus assures us of this fact by saying in Matthew 28:20, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
My Reader, may 2017 be a year of spiritual growth for all of us!